Belgrade - 48th plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC) was held in Belgrade from 29 November to 1 December within the framework of the Serbian Chairmanship-in-office. Parliamentary Assembly of the South-East European Cooperation Process was represented, with an observer status, by a member of the Croatian Parliamentary Delegation to SEECP PA, Vedran Babić, MP.
Parliamentary delegations from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine participated at the 48th plenary session. Deputy Secretary General of the Organization for Black Sea Economic Cooperation, Ambassador Alexander Prishchepov, President of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB), Mr. Ihsan Ugur Delikanli and President of the Union of Road Transport Associations in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Region (BSEC - URTA), Mr. Vladimir Florea participated as well.
Having the guest and observer status, the session was attended by representatives of Parliaments of France and Italy, representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE PA), Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia (PA UBR), Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference (BSPC) as well as representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking countries (TURK PA).
The session was opened by the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojković, who stressed that the Republic of Serbia was focused on development and strengthening of friendly relations with the member countries of the Organization for Black Sea Economic Cooperation. She pointed out that Serbia was fully committed to the development of regional stability and strengthening of good neighbourly relations, as well as creating a favourable economic and political climate that contributes to the strengthening of further cooperation. Participants were also addressed by the first Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dačić, who said that the priorities of the Republic of Serbia during the six-month presidency of PABSEC were aimed at strengthening economic cooperation among member countries, with special emphasis on tourism, transport and infrastructure as well as strengthening cooperation with other international organizations.
Meetings of the Bureau and the Standing Committee held on November 29 discussed the plenary session organizational issues and the current activities of the Assembly. During the meeting of the Bureau, Vice-President in charge of financial matters of PABSEC, Gagik Minasyan, presented a report on the implementation of the budget of the Assembly while Arthur Martirosyan (Armenia) was elected Secretary of the Economic, Commercial, Technological and Environmental Affairs Committee of PABSEC.
The main topic on the agenda of the 48th session of the Assembly was "Reforms in the BSEC Member States - the Role of National Parliaments". Lawmakers discussed the reforms in the Member States and the role of national parliaments, as well as the work of the Economic, Commercial, Technological and Environmental Affairs Committee, Legal and Political Affairs Committee and Cultural, Educational and Social Affairs Committees of PABSEC. Assembly debated and adopted the report and recommendations of international investments in the member countries of the Organization for Black Sea Economic Cooperation, the role of religion in the fight against terrorism and extremism, as well as the role of education and science in the context of sustainable development. Progress Report of the Parliamentary Assembly has been adopted as well.
The participants were addressed by a member of the Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the South-East European Cooperation Process, Vedran Babić, on behalf of the Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the SEECP. Babić stressed the importance and objectives of the SEECP Parliamentary Assembly underlining that one of the main tasks of representatives was timely recognition of the challenges we were all facing, emphasizing the importance of strengthening regional stability as well as political, economic and security capacities.
PABSEC brings together members of parliaments from the twelve Member States of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation - Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
Established in 1993, the Assembly promotes parliamentary cooperation in the Black Sea Region, concentrating its efforts on subjects of utmost importance for multilateral cooperation. The PABSEC has played a key role in fostering parliamentary dialogue aimed at creating a common vision of cooperation and promoting democracy, the rule of law, pluralistic society and free market economy.